McLaren drops 'MP4' from 2017 car name

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McLaren has dropped the "MP4" prefix from the name of its future F1 cars after deciding to call its 2017 car MCL32.

The MP4 name stood for "Marlboro Project Four" and was introduced by former CEO Ron Dennis when he merged his F2 team, Project Four Racing, with McLaren in 1981. Since then each new car's name had the prefix "MP4" followed by a type number in ascending order.

Last year's car was named the MP4-31, but following the departure of Dennis at the helm of the team, McLaren has decided to switch its car nomenclature to include the prefix MCL. The name change appears to be the first stage of a rebranding exercise that is also likely to see a substantial change to the team's livery this year.

The McLaren MCL32 will be launched on February 24.